I went to the market to pick up some milk and sundries for my weekly meals. At the front of the store was a table with stacks of Girl Scout cookies. They had all best kinds; thin mints, peanut butter patties, s’mores, Caramel de Lites, they had everything. Behind the table were three pre-adolescent girls each holding a box in front of them, waiting for my arrival and inspection. Of course, I was going to buy cookies. Wouldn’t you? Beyond being delicious, I support this program because of the entrepreneurship endorsed by the Girl Scouts of America. The GSA is teaching our young women about developing financially stable futures and using their skills to make a big impact on the world. I gladly bought two boxes and went in to the market to get my groceries.
Leaving the market, I saw the Girl Scout table again, but now it was being operated by four new girls. These girls were younger and even more adorable than the previous group each holding a box of cookies ready to snare me in their trap. Maybe that was their plan all along.
Welcome to Swimming in the Flood; a podcast where we develop the resilient leader’s mindset by navigating difficult currents in business. My name is Trent Theroux.
I realized that this was a well-run operation. Their positioning was strategic, their staffing was devious and their results were impressive. Planting yourself in front of a location where people purchase enough cookies to fill Carnegie Hall is ingenious. Why buy Oreos when thin mints are in the menu? Be gone Chips Ahoy Peanut Butter Sandwiches rule this neck of the woods. Who cares that the cost per cookies is 187% higher than in the store. We’re working for a good cause here. And the marketing. Oh the marketing. The replacement Girl Scouts had a deal for me. One box for $5 or four for $20. How many can I put you down for? I tried to show the girls that I already bought two boxes, but the smiled. The smiled their half-toothless smile. These second graders with the adorable whistles between their words were conceived as selling machines by Don Draper himself. Of course I bought two more boxes. Wouldn’t you.
According to Training, the official publication of training magazine network, in 2018 U.S. sales training expenditures were estimated to be $87.6 billion. On average companies spent just under $1,000 per salesperson. The average non-profit spent $1,340. You heard that right. Non-profits spend an average of $1,340 per salesperson. Imagine what they need to sell just to break even on their sales costs. My point is that sales people are trained to sell. They are trained to understand the selling conditions. They are trained to overcome objections and they are trained to close deals.
How are you trained? If we were playing chess, you would be trained in how to play offense or defense. Basketball – the same. You’re taught to play at both ends of the court. But sales? People are trained in salesmanship, not sales resistance…until now.
I am now going to give you my unscientific, non-peer reviewed, resilient leader theory on sales resistance. Are you ready? Got your pencils out? Here’s it is. Don’t Sign The Petition. You heard it. Don’t Sign The Petition. This theory has not been endorsed by the World Wildlife Foundation
The theory is simple here’s how it works. Have you ever had a knock on the door and found an idealistic college student on a mission to save the world asking you to sign their petition? So have I. She was working for an organization who was trying to ban water from being discharged into my local bay. She was prepared with the statistics about how much water overflowed from the drainage systems and how many pollutants were being belched into the salt water harming the ecosystem. She needed my help to stop these polluters from continuing to ruin the future of the bay for her and her future children. “Would you be willing to sign my petition to show your support for tougher regulations on discharge?” She held her pen and clipboard out to me and waited for me to sign. Wouldn’t you? The young woman didn’t want anything other than for me to agree that we shouldn’t dump crap into the bay. What type of insensitive bastard would I be if I didn’t support such a noble cause? Particularly, if it got her off my doorstep and let me get back to my dinner.
Folks, thank you for listening to Swimming in the Flood. Resilient leaders face challenging currents and it is tough navigating, but with one tack or another we can get there together.
If you’ve got a couple of minutes, please check out my new website, trenttheroux.com. And, while you’re thinking of it – subscribe to the podcast. That way you can get developing resilient leader theories hot off the presses. If you would like to discuss your next speaking or training event please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for taking the time to listen. See ya.